Bike Hospital

A beautiful day to be outdoor!  And for a tune-up!  I arranged a meetup with the BIXI mechanic, Max, who’s offering tune-up services to raise money for Ride for Heart.  Being part of Ride for Heart myself, I understand the challenges & importance of fundraising for such a great cause.  Plus, my bikes need help! Both of them!

My friend & I met up in the AM for a short bike ride before the tune up.  We then loaded up all 3 bikes (his bike + both of mine) in his huge van & headed out for tune-ups.

Humber Trail

 Today’s route was the Humber Trail.  A lot more cyclists than yesterday, not to mention dogs & runners.  I envy those runners.  Feels just like summer!  😎  We decided to turn around at 10:15AM since my tune-up was scheduled for noon.  But ~10min beforehand, CRASH!  Right in front of a bunch of cars & people.  I was busy telling my friend about the new documentary, The Perfect Runner (explores running through the science of evolution), & forgot to unclip at a red light.  My head kept saying “unclip” but my foot never got the message!  I was fine with a minor scratch but my bike got a blow on the derailleur side & both sides of my handlebars bent inwards.

Road bikes are like tofu – delicate & easy to break.  I tend to cushion falls, letting my bike fall on me to reduce its impact with the ground.  I protect my bike more than myself.  Scrapes & bruises will heal but anything wrong with my bike will need professional help (repairing it myself always makes things worst).

Unfortunately, my bike still suffered this time.  We took our 1st break on our return trip.  My rear brake pad was rubbing against the rim pretty badly.  The wheel could hardly spin.  Quick adjustments were made with none other than brute force.  It was also heartwrenching to see how dirty my bike got.  Earthworm stuck on the brake, mud on the frame, animal wastes on my wheel.  Yuck!!  I just cleaned it 2 weeks ago for 5 painstaking hours!  

2nd fall when we reached home.  My right foot was unclipped but my bike was leaning to the left side.  I needed my left foot which was still stuck.  A bit of swearing out loud as I braced for the fall.  At least it wasn’t on my derailleur side again.  It messed up my handlebar even more.  It was now bent over 45degrees inwards.  Shifters all scratched up.  All this happened & the ride was only ~40km. 😳

Perfect day to tune-up or what?  Poor bike!  The 1st thing Max said was “Whoa, your handlebar looks pretty bad!”   He later informed me my roadie’s rear derailleur hanger is slightly bent & my chain is slightly stretched.  Unfortunately, these couldn’t be fixed without supplies & special tools.  The diagnosis for my commuter bike was worse – rear brakes are almost worn out, poorly designed freewheel, tight shifting, extremely loose bracket.  For the price of the bike, replacing parts aren’t worthwhile.  I’ll basically use it until the crankarms fall off & my wheels explode, trash it, & buy another bike.  It took just shy of 3hours before both bikes were tuned up.

Thanking Max for his service, we headed off to Skiis & Biikes for my friend’s tune-up.  He has a lifetime tune-up there.  I want that!!  I asked the staff whether this service is offered to bikes not purchased from this shop.  It’s a YES but they need to interview your bike first!  They don’t accept “cheap” bikes since they break easily.  I’ll look into this more for my next tune-up.

I hope my bikes are better now for the most part.  Haven’t test-rode them yet.  For the record, I DID have a good day!!  Really! 😀 It’s always nice to catch up with a friend on a ride.

Goal for next ride.  Take more pictures.  My rides have been too short lately; no rest stops mean no pictures.  Struggling to stay upright also doesn’t help the situation.

4 thoughts on “Bike Hospital

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  1. I feel your pain with a worn rear cassette, stretched chain and a front ring that is beginning to shark tooth. Hopefully we’ll both have bikes running like new by Aug! See you at Acton-Waterloo?

    1. Definitely, already signed up months ago!!! Can’t wait! It’ll be nice to see you. Taking my road bike for another tune up today, hopefully that will put an end to its misery. The sad part is, it’s not even 2 years old! Sometimes, I just want to ride & not worry about the mechanics!

  2. I found a way around that, too. I started riding *with a mechanic 😉 Look forward to seeing you in August. Perhaps we can even manage a training ride or two in there before hand.

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